Just like any other home appliance or equipment you have in your home, at some point you will need to replace some of its parts. That in itself is good news considering how expensive an entire heating system can be. When replacing furnace parts, it is important to go for a quality furnace replacement to make sure that it is the perfect match that you need for your furnace to run smoothly and efficiently.
What you need to know is that furnace parts are pretty complicated. You just can’t choose a replacement part that looks the same. There are other factors to consider such as the make, the manufacturer, compatibility, size, and all the technical stuff that go with it. To help you make some informed decisions about furnace replacement, read the following tips to finding the perfect fit for your furnace.
Filter – Your First Line of Defense
I simply can’t stress enough the importance of having a clean furnace filter. Not only does a clean filter improve the quality of your indoor air but it also ensures that there is sufficient flow of air that your furnace needs to function accordingly. In summary, clean filters:
- Ensure that the air that gets distributed throughout the home is allergen-free
- Extend your furnace’s life expectancy
- Prevents unnecessary problems with the blowers because of dust build up
It is recommended to change filters every three months or at least every time a season ends. Here are the different types of filters:
- High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Furnace Filters – These filters are top of the line with a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) rating of 7 up to 13. These will totally prevent allergens from being spread but these could also hinder proper air flow. Refer to your furnace manual to check for compatibility before purchasing this type of filter.
- Washable Furnace Filters – These filters are durable, great for trapping allergens without blocking air flow, and they have a high MERV rating.
- 3 M Furnace Filters – These are disposal filters that provide medium protection from allergens and dust.
- Electrostatic Furnace Filters – These filters only trap dust and dirt but not allergens.
MERV rating refers to the filters ability to block dirt, dust, allergens, and other air contaminants. The higher the MERV rating, the better it is at keeping a better quality of air. Medium efficiency filters have MERV ratings of 5 to 13; high efficiency filters such as that of a HEPA have MERV ratings ranging from 7 to 13.
No matter what type of furnace you choose, it is always important to always go back to your user’s manual to make sure you are getting the right filter replacement for your furnace.
Thermostat – For Accurate Indoor Temperature
Thermostats are important in making sure that your home’s temperature is at accurate levels and that you are able to control the settings as you deem necessary. A malfunctioning thermostat creates all kinds of troubles for your heating system.
If replacing your furnace’s current thermostat, here are the options to choose from:
- Programmable Thermostat – As the name implies, this type of thermostat allows you to program and set the temperature on certain hours of the day depending on your home’s heating needs. This allows homeowners to switch furnace off or at least lower it down when nobody is home and set it back up an hour before your home’s occupants.
- Low Voltage Thermostat – This is widely used and is the most flexible thermostat out in the market today. The voltage can be as low as 6 and as high as 30. The most commonly used is 24. Low voltage thermostats come in digital form and electronic programmable.
- Digital Thermostat – This basically displays the temperature in digital form. Some come with built-in barometers.
When buying a thermostat, it is best to contact your furnace’s manufacturer as they most likely have the thermostat that goes perfectly well with the kind of furnace you have.
Igniters – For Starting Up the Furnace
A furnace won’t kick in without the igniter. The furnace burner is ignited by electric currents and filaments and when the igniter isn’t working as it should, it doesn’t allow the furnace to start up. Igniters are either made of silicon carbide that last 3 – 5 years or silicon nitride that could live for 6 – 10 years.
The type of igniter you need will always be dependent on the kind of furnace burner you have. Igniters aren’t found in your local home improvement stores so you have to get with a company that deals with your furnace’s brand or even sister brand.
When purchasing an igniter, take note of your furnace’s model number, and the electrical connector and mounting bracket of your old furnace igniter. These are very important details you have to provide in order for you to get a replacement part that fits your furnace.
Blower Motor – For Blasting Heat
When your furnace is no longer distributing heat, it may be due to a damaged blower motor. Take note that the blower does not create the heat; it only blows heat through the ducts into your home. If you need to replace your blower motor, remember the following:
Your furnace’s blower motor is the same one utilize by your central cooling system.
The horsepower should match that of your furnace.
Know the existing motor blower speed by reading the electrical diagram. In the event that the diagram is unreadable, you can measure the speed by counting the wires that lead to the motor. 2 wires = 1 speed; 3 wires = 2 speed; 4 wires – 3 speed; and 5 wires = 4 speed.
Check your furnace warranty to see if parts and labor are included in the coverage.
Use Genuine OEM Replacement Parts
Finally, it is always important to use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts when purchasing replacement parts for your furnace. Normally, OEM parts will cost you more but you are assured that the parts are 100% compatible with your furnace and that will save you some performance trouble in the future.
There are instances when your existing furnace is phased out. Usually when this happens, the manufacturer or a wholesaler will have some parts that are still compatible for your unit. It is better to have your furnace’s manufacturer recommend a replacement part to ensure it fits your unit than go looking for a different brand.
Another important tip is to always check the warranty of your heating system. Most companies include parts and labor costs in their warranty fine print.
It is also advisable to have your furnace checked and serviced on a yearly basis to avoid getting some damages that will require you to replace your entire furnace.
Only replace furnace parts yourself if you are knowledgeable and comfortable enough to do so. Otherwise, contact a local furnace repair Hamilton contractor to make sure that the replacement parts are installed properly and that you get the most out of your heating system.